'Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens': Will Season 2 learn from past mistakes and make better use of its star power?
The first season of 'Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens' concluded with Nora Lin going to China to embrace her new job and life, only to be deported back home after several mishaps that perhaps could have been avoided.
Finally, we get to see a spark of responsibility and accountability in her and it's good to know that she isn't just a genealogy of bad decisions and swearing. In this episode, we finally get a whiff of character development and a promise of a more concrete storyline as we have been subjected to relentlessly absurd adventures and haphazard plots throughout the season.
The premise of the show revolved around a woman trying to navigate her way through adulthood by snagging odd jobs and trying to live life to the fullest, on a rather small budget. Nora Lin is supposed to embody a typical millennial. She isn't without ambition. She just lacks direction.
Each episode in this season has had one theme: Nora stews in a mishap that is of her own making, be it losing her license or getting her hair dyed the wrong color or watching helplessly as havoc is wreaked in the launch party of her cousin Edmund's app.
Most of the time, we get to see the special bond she shares with her father (BD Wong) and grandmother (Lori Tan Chinn). Grandma, who is the life of the show, has undying faith in Nora and this seems to give her a little boost in confidence. In one episode, her father gets rather irritated with her as he believes that she isn't heading anywhere in life. Later, he tells her that he knows that she isn't mediocre and that she has tremendous potential. These little family scenes scattered throughout the show do give it a sweet tinge.
It will be quite sometime before we can expect profound character development in our lead protagonist, though she is now making minuscule efforts. Yet, the show wants to prove that it isn't exactly about navigating adulthood anymore. It's just falling in the realm of being a sitcom and following the life and adventures of a quirky character.
However, there are several hindrances in terms of storylines. As brilliant as Awkwafina is in capturing this awkwardness, her fast-talking qualities and fluid expressions can only take the show so far and you can't really gloss over the clunkiness of the show at points. At times, it's as if Awkwafina will do whatever it takes to get a few smiles out of the audience. The arcs run thin and change sporadically, only to pick up suddenly where they left off. Though the dynamics between the family members keep the show going, we only get to see tantalizing glimpses of it. Hopefully, the show will learn from these mistakes and be more consistent in Season 2. It should make more use of its star power.
'Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens' has the potential to be much better. Let's hope for a better Season 2.